116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers

The 116th Congress is making history with a record number of women and many lawmakers breaking racial and religious barriers.

The numbers of African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American lawmakers are at new highs, as is the number of lawmakers who are openly LGBT. The new Congress also includes a number of historic firsts, including the first Muslim women and first Native American women to serve.

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The differences between the two parties, though, are stark, with most of the women and an overwhelming number of minority lawmakers on the Democratic side.

Here’s a breakdown of the voting members of the 116th Congress.

Women

The number of women in Congress is at a record high at 127, up from 110 in the last session.

A quarter of the Senate is now female. Of those 25 senators, 17 are Democrats and 8 are Republicans. In the House, there are 102 female lawmakers, with 89 Democrats and 13 Republicans.

The midterms also brought a wave of historic firsts, with Reps. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyDem rep apologizes for quoting Alice Walker: 'I was unaware of the author’s past statements' Ocasio-Cortez sparks debate with talk of 70 percent marginal rate Progressive group backed by Ocasio-Cortez sets sights on first Dem target in 2020 MORE (D-Mass.) and Jahana HayesJahana HayesSupporters leave notes on plaque outside Ocasio-Cortez's office Chamber of Commerce says will focus on bipartisanship when endorsing candidates 116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers MORE (D-Conn.) becoming the first African-American women to represent their states in Congress. Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarNew Dem Rep. Ilhan Omar writing memoir: report Ocasio-Cortez sparks debate with talk of 70 percent marginal rate 116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers MORE (D-Minn.) became the first Somali-American to serve, and with Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDem leaders avert censure vote against Steve King Florida official refuses to apologize for saying Tlaib might ‘blow up’ Capitol Hill White House's Sanders: King white supremacist comments 'abhorrent' MORE (D-Mich.), was among the first Muslim women. Reps. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarOcasio-Cortez and freshmen Dems seek out McConnell in bid to end shutdown 116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers Border lawmakers press Trump to beef up existing security MORE (D) and Sylvia GarciaSylvia GarciaTexas governor, top lawmakers tell Trump not to use hurricane relief funds to build border wall 116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers MORE (D) also made history as Texas’s first Latina lawmakers. In California, Nevada, Arizona, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Washington, women hold both Senate seats.

African-Americans

The new Congress is set to have 55 African-American lawmakers in the House and Senate, up from 49 in the previous term.

Rep. Lauren UnderwoodLauren UnderwoodSupporters leave notes on plaque outside Ocasio-Cortez's office 116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers Lauren Underwood becomes youngest ever black woman to be sworn in to Congress MORE (D-Ill.) became the youngest black woman elected to Congress at age 32.

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According to Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chairwoman Karen BassKaren Ruth BassHouse vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King House Democrats offer measures to censure Steve King Congressional Black Caucus calls for Steve King to be removed from committees MORE (D-Calif.), the CBC will also have a record number of members at 55, including two nonvoting delegates.

Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdLatest funding bill to reopen the government fails in House GOP maps out early 2020 strategy to retake House Juan Williams: Trump's wall is founded on fiction MORE (R-Texas) will be the only black Republican in the House. In the upper chamber, there are three African-Americans: Democratic Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s attorney general pick passes first test Sanders to meet with staffers as he does damage control Brown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration MORE (Calif.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerGillibrand and Booker play 'How Well Do You Know Your Co-Worker' game amid 2020 speculation The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s attorney general pick passes first test 5 takeaways from Barr’s testimony MORE (N.J.), and Republican Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottIf Republicans rebuked Steve King, they must challenge Donald Trump McConnell rebukes Steve King over white nationalist comments Steve King faces new storm over remarks about white supremacy MORE (S.C.)

Hispanics

Congress boasts a record number of Hispanic lawmakers in the current term, at 45.

The total includes 41 in the House and four senators.

The star of the freshman class is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez rips Trump in first House floor speech: 'It is not normal to shut down the government when we don’t get what we want' On The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Supporters leave notes on plaque outside Ocasio-Cortez's office MORE (D-N.Y.), who has quickly become a progressive icon.

Escobar and Garcia made history as the first Hispanic women elected to Congress from Texas. Rep. Lori TrahanLori Trahan116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers MORE (D-Mass.) is the first Portuguese-American woman to be elected to Congress.

The 116th Congress is set to have the largest Congressional Hispanic Caucus in history as it grows to 39 members, including 4 nonvoting members.

Asian-Americans

A record number of 17 Asian-Americans will be serving in this Congress, with 14 in the House and three in the Senate.

Among the notable firsts is Rep. Andy Kim (D), who became the first Asian-American ever elected to Congress from New Jersey. 

According to the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Kim and Rep. TJ Cox (D-Calif.) bring the total number of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders to a historic 20 members. That number includes three nonvoting delegates.

LGBT

The number of LGBT lawmakers is up to 10 from seven. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) joins Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne Baldwin116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers Kyrsten Sinema swears in to Congress using copy of Constitution instead of religious book Dems say Trump is defying court order by pushing abstinence programs MORE (D-Wis.) in the Senate as the second openly LGBT member of the chamber.

In the House, there are four new LGBT members: Reps. Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsYoder, Messer land on K Street 116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers Pompeo seen as top recruit for Kansas Senate seat MORE (D-Kan.), Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren Hill116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers Pro-business Dem group hits record membership Incoming Dem Ayanna Pressley to work in her hero Shirley Chisholm's old office after trade MORE (D-Calif.) and Chris PappasChristopher (Chris) Charles Pappas116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers Here are the lawmakers who will forfeit their salaries during the shutdown 5 themes to watch for in 2020 fight for House MORE (D-N.H.).

More religious diversity

Overwhelmingly, most members of Congress identify as Christian, but there are some notable exceptions.

Tlaib and Omar became the first two Muslim women to win seats in the House. They join André Carson (D-Ind.) and bring the total number of Muslims in Congress to three. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice Ellison116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers Tlaib corrects news reports, says she swore in on personal Quran Religious affiliation in new Congress under-represents US population, poll finds MORE, who is also Muslim, left Congress to serve as Minnesota attorney general.

The number of Jewish lawmakers in Congress rose from 30 to 34, with 26 in the House and 8 in the Senate. Only two are Republicans — Reps. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinHouse Freedom Caucus calls for Congress to work on shutdown through break 116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers Here are the lawmakers who will forfeit their salaries during the shutdown MORE (N.Y.) and David KustoffDavid Frank Kustoff116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers Governor's race grabs spotlight in Tennessee primaries Election Countdown: Trump jumps into Ohio special election fight | What to watch in Tennessee primaries | Koch network freezes out Republicans who crossed them | Dead heat in Texas, Nevada Senate races | How celebs are getting into the midterms MORE (Tenn.)

Three members of the House identify as Hindu, all of whom were reelected in November.

The 116th Congress will have two Buddhists, with Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoAG pick Barr emphasizes independence from Trump Hirono says she can't trust Trump on shutdown talks: 'His word is not good' Live coverage: Trump AG pick grilled on Mueller probe at confirmation hearing MORE (D-Hawaii) in the Senate and Rep. Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. Johnson116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers Dem lawmaker compares Trump to Hitler during speech House lawmakers look to reassure Australia after Mattis resignation MORE (D-Ga.) in the House.

Veterans

The 116th Congress includes 96 veterans, down six from the last Congress. There are 77 serving in the House and 19 in the Senate.

While the overall number is down, there are a record number of female former service members. Seven female veterans will serve in Congress, including Sens. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthDems blast EPA nominee at confirmation hearing 116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers The 15 Democrats who voted against Pelosi MORE (D-Ill.), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstTrump tells GOP senators he’s sticking to Syria and Afghanistan pullout  McConnell: Senate will not recess if government still shutdown Barr calls for 'barrier system' on border MORE (R-Iowa) and Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyOn The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Science group seeks to draft Mark Kelly for 2020 Arizona Senate race MORE (R-Ariz.) in the upper chamber and Reps. Mikie SherrillRebecca (Mikie) Michelle SherrillHow Pelosi is punishing some critics while rewarding others 116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers Freshman House members: Calls for impeachment 'premature' MORE (D-N.J.), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) and Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman Luria116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers Virginia races will gauge Trump’s appeal in suburbs Here are the lawmakers who will forfeit their salaries during the shutdown MORE (D-Va.) in the House.